Twavwane Primary in Kabanana was established in 2003 by a group of local social workers. There is no state primary in this north Lusaka slum of 7,500 people.
There are over 3,000 community schools in Zambia, set up by community groups and churches so children who can’t afford state school fees can get an education; they tend to have a high percentage of orphaned pupils.
Children just keep coming to Twavwane and classes average 70 pupils. Many malnourished, HIV+ children are referred here by the local clinic as its volunteers are trained health carers and the school supplies free meals to all 530 pupils (co-funded by ZOA-UK and Stephen Lewis Foundation in the US).
In 2016 ZOA-UK provided uniforms and stationery to 32 primary pupils and supported 42 children to attend secondary school. We also funded three bright leavers to go to college. In 2017 we will be continuing our support to primary and secondary pupils and funding two bright students to attend college.
Pupils in Grades 1-7 (primary school) attend in two sessions, taught by seven volunteer teachers. Pupil households are carefully means tested to ensure they can’t afford to send children to the government schools which require compulsory uniform, requisites and ‘user fees’. Consequently all Twavwane pupils are vulnerable, 157 are orphans.
Out of school these kids would be at high risk of forced early marriage, abuse or child labour.
Twavwane also offer after school lower secondary classes (Grades 8 & 9) to children without funds or sponsorship for government secondary school. This is to prevent them dropping out of education at this critical stage. The hope is that funds can be secured to enable them to re-enter the official school system for Upper Secondary, Grades 10-12.
School feeding programme benefits
Since the school started providing meals in 2012 health has improved significantly; particularly amongst the 40 HIV+ pupils.
The Board are very proud that there have been no pupil mortalities since this time (previously c. four a year). Attendance, concentration, and exam results are also greatly improved.
New Desks for Twavwane
Until recently the pupils had to squeeze four to a two-seater desk, most sat on the concrete floor. Teachers stood all day with no place to mark work. However, thanks to the generosity of a number of Charitable Trusts and individuals the school now has a desk space for every child and teacher (see photo of after school Grade 8 class benefiting from these, right).
These desks are already having a huge impact on the benefit the pupils are gaining from their lessons.
We have just secured the funds needed to install a kitchen to replace the current field shelter (pictured right) which is woefully inadequate for the number of children and unusable in rainy season. Work will start on the new kitchen very soon.
Please can you donate to help pupils at this under-resourced school achieve to the best of their ability?